The Portland Police recently released a statement concerning efforts to prepare for a confrontation Saturday night. The following is a response to that statement.
Occupy Portland is a non-violent movement. It has always been a non-violent movement. It will continue to be a non-violent movement. Claims that we are organizing massive numbers of people from other cities, including anarchists, to confront police action violently are false. The Portland Police have been engaging for the last several weeks in a campaign to defame and confuse the message of our movement by attributing the actions and statements of individuals to the movement as a whole, and they continue to do so.
We are aware that about 10 people from Seattle have volunteered to come down to Portland Saturday and stand in peaceful solidarity with our movement in a time of need. There have been no calls from the Occupy Portland movement to mobilize any kind of forceful resistance to the police, and last night’s General Assembly reaffirmed all of these things. We cannot control what individuals do.
The claims made are extremely heavy ones, and describe a type of organized effort to create violent confrontation that is patently absent. The efforts by the Portland Police to date have successfully created a perception that the violent actions of some reflect the majority of people present, and that is in contradiction with the facts that any citizen can easily observe by simply a cursory examination of our protest with their own eyes.
Any one that is engaging in violent resistance is doing so in direct contradiction to the values outlined by the Portland General Assembly, and in doing so is by definition not representing Occupy Portland. The City understands this position, and we encourage our government and the police to use a modicum of tact and reason when engaging the public with information. This release cannot be seen in any other light than an attempt to undermine our efforts for a peaceful interaction with supporters around the city, and to discourage involvement by the common people within our city Saturday night at our Potluck and rally.
We are many, and we are peaceful.